Earlier today, NAHRO, along with industry groups PHADA and CLPHA, joined HUD on a conference call to discuss updates on the HUD’s Hurricane Assistance for Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. HUD noted that Hurricane Harvey impacted 1,100 properties, while Hurricanes Irma and Maria impacted 1,400 properties. The exact number of households impacted is still growing as additional information becomes available.
To facilitate quick responses to the on-the-ground situation, HUD will be issuing a notice detailing expedited waiver procedures for PHAs in the affected areas. The notice will be published in the Federal Register early next week. According to HUD, the notice will allow PHAs to apply for waivers through an expedited process, which HUD anticipates taking no more than a few business days. There will be an attachment with the notice, which PHAs can use to check off the waivers that they are requesting and provide very general and basic documentation of the need for the waiver. The waiver requests will still be submitted to the field offices.
During the call, HUD also indicated that they will provide additional guidance on how other agencies can update their disaster-related preferences so that disaster-impacted families may be able to utilize the services of other agencies. At this time, HUD believes that updating a PHA’s administrative plan for disaster-related preferences is not a “significant amendment,” making the update less burdensome for those agencies which may decide to do it.
NAHRO remains committed to providing all housing authorities in disaster-related areas with the most up-to-date information as it becomes available and assisting in any way possible.
Update: Additionally, HUD’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) has published an integrity bulletin warning “everyone affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria to be alert for fraud schemes that commonly occur following a disaster.” Schemes include scam housing inspectors, scam contractors, fake relief programs, flood-damaged cars being offered for resale, and mortgage rescue scams. Additional information can be found here.
On September 27, HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) released the Calendar Year 2018 Operating Subsidy Inventory. PHAs should download the MS Excel file containing all projects and review their inventory, which can be found under the “CY18 Project Inventory” tab on the downloaded Excel spreadsheet. HUD will deploy electronic HUD forms 52723 and 52722 for the 2018 Operating Subsidy for these projects listed. Projects removed from the 2018 inventory can be found under the “CY18 Non-Funded Project” tab.
PHAs should review their inventory listed and provide any updates to the local field office by October 5, 2017.
The MS Excel file containing all projects can be found on HUD’s Calendar Year 2018 Subsidy Processing website.
Yesterday, the Senate confirmed Pamela Patneaude, by an 80-17 vote, to serve as Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Ms. Patenaude had previously served as former HUD Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development under President George W. Bush and as the director of housing policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center. She is currently the president of the J. Ronald Terwilliger Foundation for Housing America’s Families. As Deputy Secretary, Ms. Patenaude will handle the day-to-day operations of HUD, as well as lead the Department’s Disaster Management Group (DMG), playing a primary role in coordinating the long-term efforts of 16 program and support offices within HUD.
In a press release on Ms. Patneaude’s confirmation, NAHRO CEO Adrianne Todman states:
“NAHRO is pleased that the Senate has confirmed Ms. Patenaude as HUD Deputy Secretary. Her extensive experience with affordable housing and community development issues, both in the non-profit sector and at HUD, will be an asset to the department. We look forward to working with her to advance HUD’s mission to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all.”
On September 14, HUD announced it will extend the FY 2017 Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) NOFA application deadline for PHAs located in Presidentially-Declared Disaster areas impacted by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. This includes 39 counties in the state of Texas, St. John and St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Municipios of Canovanas, Cuelbra, Loiza, and Vieques in Puerto Rico, and 37 counties in the state of Florida. The deadline for these locations is now September 29, 2017.
On September 19, 2017 at 1:00 PM EDT, HUD will host a webinar titled “Buying Right: CDBG-DR and Procurement A Guide to Recovery,” which will focus on procurement requirements for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Disaster Recovery programs. This webinar will cover the latest procurement guidance under the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Uniform Guidance as provided in 2 CFR Part 200. This 1.5 hour webinar is designed for all CDBG and CDBG-DR grantees, especially staff charged with purchasing goods and services.
Participants will learn:
- Roadmap of the procurement process
- Procurement methods for different types of goods and services
- Best practices to ensure compliance with the Uniform Guidance requirements
- Common pitfalls in procuring goods and services by grantees
Register for the webinar here.
Abt Associates recently released a report that evaluated Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) programs operated by the Lynn Housing Authority and the Cambridge Housing Authority in partnership with Compass Working Capital in Massachusetts. The report, funded by the Oak Foundation and HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R), compared the change over time in earnings and welfare and Social Security Income for FSS participants to those in a matched comparison group. The study occurred between October 2010 and March 2015.
The study found that FSS participants performed better than the comparison groups in terms of earning, credit, and debt. This included FSS participants having higher earning growth, reductions in welfare, growth in credit scores, and reductions in credit cards and derogatory debt than the comparison group.
FSS provides a critical source of funding for PHAs to help their residents increase self-sufficiency. Although the FSS program was established by Congress 27 years ago, the Abt study is only the third to compare earnings outcomes of FSS participants to a comparison group and the first to study credit and debt outcomes.
On September 11, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published a Notice in the Federal Register designating its statutorily mandated list of qualified census tracts (QCTs) and difficult development areas (DDAs) for the purposes of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program. Under LIHTC, projects located in QCTs and DDAs are eligible to receive up to a 30 percent basis boost while receiving Housing Credits. The 2018 QCTs and DDAs will be effective for LIHTCs allocated after December 31, 2017, and for bond-financed properties where the tax-exempt bonds are issued and the building is placed in service after December 31, 2017.
HUD publishes QCT and DDA designations annually. While this Notice provides specific details on the methodology in determining 2018 QCTs and DDAs, the full listings and other historical data can be accessed at: https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/qct.html.
On Friday, September 8, Congress approved a package that included a three-month continuing resolution to avoid a government shutdown when the fiscal year ends on September 30, putting an abrupt end to what was expected to be a contentious debate throughout the month of September.
Negotiated by the President, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, the package deal was signed by the President immediately after it was approved by Congress. Among other things, the deal includes:
- Continued government funding until Friday, December 8 with an across-the-board cut of .6791 percent
- Extension of the debt limit until Friday, December 8
- $15.25 billion disaster relief for Hurricane Harvey
- Extension of the National Flood Insurance Program until Friday, December 8
The House also began work on an eight-bill omnibus package last week, including the FY 2018 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development bill. It is expected to finish work this week on the omnibus, which will serve as the foundation for negotiations with the Senate when considering a final spending package for the fiscal year.
Congress still needs to come to an agreement on overall spending levels for the year; neither the House nor the Senate have approved budget resolutions, but both chambers wrote appropriations bills based on extremely different spending levels. The House and the Senate both propose an increase in spending, so an agreement will need to be reached on an overall funding level and, presumably, to raise the funding cap for the fiscal year.
On Wednesday, September 6, HUD will release four agency information collection request revisions relating to public housing. These include: grant drawdown payment request/LOCCS/VRS Voice Activated, public housing annual contributions contract and inventory removal application, public housing financial template, and requirements for designated housing projects. Each is a revision of a currently approved collection. Comments for each information collection activity are due 30 days after their publication in the Federal Register.
In a letter to PHA Executive Directors on Wednesday, August 30, 2017, HUD announced that it had calculated each PHA’s Administrative Fee eligibility for the months of January to June and established an estimated proration factor. In March of 2017, the proration factor was slightly higher than 74 percent. HUD “[t]hrough the use of recaptured and carryover funds that were reprogrammed” was able to increase the national administrative fee proration to “be around 76%-77%.” The Department will provide a 77 percent proration from between January to June with a 76 percent proration for the final six months of the year. This is only an estimated proration factor. The final reconciliation will determine the final proration factor.
While NAHRO is pleased at the increase in the proration of the administrative fee, it is still far from the full funding that is needed to run the Housing Choice Voucher program. NAHRO continues to educate policy makers about the need for full funding to properly administer affordable housing programs.
9/6/17 update – HUD has sent an email on the administrative fee proration stating “[a]t this point, HUD has reprogrammed available carryover funds, which have increased the national proration to 77% through June 2017. However, the final administrative fee reconciliation (December 2017), which will account for the total number of units leased for CY 2017, will determine the final administrative fee proration.”
9/11/18 correction – typographical error for the old proration was corrected.